The U Documentary

First off, welcome to sports editor Justin Antweil’s blog. I look forward to connecting with the Hurricane community throughout my tenure as editor via my blog.

I saw The U Documentary at the exclusive showing at the Cosford Cinema two days before the national premiere on ESPN at 9 p.m. Saturday right after the Heisman Trophy ceremony. The documentary is simply a must see. It’s amazing and it perfectly explains the rise of the University of Miami football teams in the 1980s and how they transformed the culture of college football. It’s the birth of a dynasty.

There are some great stories that are told. The music is great. Director Billy Corben, a UM alum, did a fantastic job with all of the interviews and gathering all of the clips.

Here are some things that stood out to me while I watched the 1 hour 42 minute masterpiece.

– The chronology of the movie is really well documented. It starts out with the befuddled Canes in the 1970s then progress to the sudden hire of Howard Schnellenberger. Corben focuses on the regimes of Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and then Butch Davis.

– Lamar Thomas exclaims how Miami’s trash talking would start pregame at the coin toss. Referee microphones were abandoned so the television audience could not pick up with the Canes players were saying to the opposition.

– Melvin Bratton called Oklahoma defensive player Brian Bosworth’s room the night before the Miami vs. Oklahoma game. Bratton knew the host at the front desk and asked to be connected to Bosworth’s room at the Fontainebleau. “We are going to kick your [butt] at high noon, so you better be there,” Bratton said.

– The Canes wore fatigues on the plane to Tempe, Arizona in route to the 1987 Fiesta Bowl. The Canes thought the game was a war.

– Randal Hill does the Jefferson dance after a touchdown. He also ran down the tunnel in the Cotton Bowl as part of his touchdown celebration. He then pretended to shoot pistols like a Texas Longhorn. This was a microcosm of the Canes character and swagger. Hill spoke to students after the movie. He has only been to two games since his playing days but says he would like an opportunity to coach but right now enjoys being with his family and working for the federal government and traveling. Hill was critical of this year’s coaches and their choices to have a big wide receiver rotation instead of just a couple of go-to players

– Only two student athletes were at the on-campus screening. Kudos to LaRon Byrd and Chris Hayes. Way to appreciate your heritage and rich history. These players walked the same grounds as you and it’s nice to know you care.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

December 11, 2009


Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer

11 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The U Documentary”

  1. j.mccants says:

    i never liked the hurricanes, until i watch the u documentary. I have a whole new outlook on that football program and history. They were amazing through out the 80’s and early 90’s. They need to get back to the Shellenberger ways of recuiting. Focus on the “inner city blacks and whites in south florida and all over florida. Those are the keys to winning.

  2. FPToledo says:

    I grew up in the OB, watching the Canes and Fins. These games brought my family so closed, and those bonds are still there. I love to see my aging mom and dad, both retired from the U, wear their colors with such pride and swagger. I will always love the U, regardless, and think the documentary was an excellent explanation of how the U really distracted us from the hard realities that plagued Miami, my hometown, during the 80s. Most important, it made us proud to be one community, one family, One U! Go Canes; See U in O-Town!

  3. jake says:

    i plede thuglife to the *U*, an all the Goons of Dade an Broward. An to the 4.2 of benjamen an shields, for which Spence stands, one nation under reandy, B and J harris, with Alderious, Aravious an Cooper 4 all.

  4. This docummentary was great! It really describes the life of growing up in Miami as a Black boy. I was very proud of this film! I was born and raised in Miami as well as played optimus football and I remember the bets spectators made then and I definately remember the bets made in High School as I was in the Band. Shouts-out to Miami Norland Vikings!

    I miss the toughness of Miami in those days and I kind of wish it never changed but I believe Randy Shannon is the right coach for the job and the Canes are on the way back to Glory.

    Great job on the documentary once again! I’m glad it included Luke & the 2-Live Crew! That was the real deal! I really need a copy of this documentary. I am a Miami representer for life. It’s all about the ‘U’!

  5. Albert says:

    Where can I watch a replay or rebroadcast of the ESPN documentary calle The U?

  6. Randy McLeod says:

    I have followed the ‘Canes since George Mira Sr. was QB. Have watched the good and bad the U has gone through in the years. The article I just read by Justin Antwell, thought I might clarify Randall Hill’s statement. Yes, I do remember him, slightly. As for the coaches of todays U, they are good. And so are the receivers J. Harris (QB) throws to. Lets see, last count was 11? The ball is spread around, nobody knows who will catch it. J. Harris does have 2 ‘go to’ guys, but, which one? My opinion, Mr. Hill should stick with his day job. His ‘football days’ are over.

  7. Greg says:

    Born in south Miami now living in Ga. and always let everyone Know
    That it has and it is and always be about the “U”

    Great job on the academic award U deserve it!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Danny says:

    Some of the guys showed up at the real premiere in liberty city.

  9. stan says:

    born in ft. lauderdale fla now live in las vegas an repsent

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